Acta Geotechnica

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 313–328 | Cite as

A unified constitutive model for unsaturated soil under monotonic and cyclic loading

  • Yong-lin Xiong
  • Guan-lin YeEmail author
  • Yi Xie
  • Bin Ye
  • Sheng Zhang
  • Feng Zhang
Research Paper


This study presents a sophisticated elastoplastic constitutive model for unsaturated soil using Bishop-type skeleton stress and degree of saturation as state variables in the framework of critical state soil mechanism. The model is proposed in order to describe the coupled hydromechanical behavior of unsaturated soil irrespective of what kind of the loadings or the drainage conditions may be. At the same time, a water retention characteristic curve considering the influence of deformation on degree of saturation is also proposed. In the model, the superloading and subloading concepts are introduced to consider the influences of overconsolidation and structure on deformation and strength of soils. The proposed model only employs nine parameters, among which five parameters are the same as those used in Cam-Clay model. The other four parameters have the clear physical meanings and can be easily determined by conventional soil tests. The capability and accuracy of the proposed model have been validated carefully through a series of laboratory tests such as isotropic loading tests and triaxial monotonic and cyclic compression tests under different mechanical and hydraulic conditions.


Elastoplastic constitutive model Overconsolidation Saturation Skeleton stress Structure Unsaturated soil 



The financial support of the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51608385 and 51722812) is greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong-lin Xiong
    • 1
  • Guan-lin Ye
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yi Xie
    • 2
  • Bin Ye
    • 3
  • Sheng Zhang
    • 4
  • Feng Zhang
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Geotechnical EngineeringNingbo UniversityNingboChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  5. 5.Department of Civil EngineeringNagoya Institute of TechnologyNagoyaJapan

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